The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) introduced the Regulation 310 CMR 7.73 in 2017 setting company-specific aggregate emissions limits on gas operators that decline each year from 2018 to 2020. The regulation serves to encourage downstream operators to upgrade pipeline infrastructure with newer materials. In 2021, it is further amended to update emissions limits from 2021 to 2024.
The regulation specifies specific mass-based emissions limits for the six gas operators that are required to submit a Gas System Enhancement Program (GSEP) under existing law. Gas operators must report their emissions by multiplying the total mileage of pipeline by a set of specified emissions factors based on the pipeline material.
The Department is permitted to verify compliance by conducting inspections or requesting information and records. Any excess emissions are deemed to be a release of air pollutants presumed to constitute a significant impact to public health, welfare, safety and the environment, enforcement upon which will proceed in accordance with federal and Massachusetts law.